Commit cfa49c1e authored by Eric M. Ludlam's avatar Eric M. Ludlam Committed by Glenn Morris

Import bovine manual from CEDET trunk

and preceding discussion

Imported from
parent 9b97b143
2012-12-13 Eric Ludlam <>
David Ponce <>
Richard Kim <>
* bovine.texi: New file, imported from CEDET trunk.
2012-12-12 Glenn Morris <>
* flymake.texi (Customizable variables, Locating the buildfile):
\input texinfo @c -*-texinfo-*-
@c %**start of header
@set TITLE Bovine parser development
@set AUTHOR Eric M. Ludlam, David Ponce, and Richard Y. Kim
@settitle @value{TITLE}
@c *************************************************************************
@c @ Header
@c *************************************************************************
@c Merge all indexes into a single index for now.
@c We can always separate them later into two or more as needed.
@syncodeindex vr cp
@syncodeindex fn cp
@syncodeindex ky cp
@syncodeindex pg cp
@syncodeindex tp cp
@c @footnotestyle separate
@c @paragraphindent 2
@c @@smallbook
@c %**end of header
This manual documents Bovine parser development in Semantic
Copyright @copyright{} 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Eric M. Ludlam
Copyright @copyright{} 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 David Ponce
Copyright @copyright{} 2002, 2003 Richard Y. Kim
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
Invariant Sections being list their titles, with the Front-Cover Texts
being list, and with the Back-Cover Texts being list. A copy of the
license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation
@end quotation
@end copying
@dircategory Emacs
* Semantic bovine parser development: (bovine).
@end direntry
@end ifinfo
@end iftex
@c @setchapternewpage odd
@c @setchapternewpage off
This file documents parser development with the bovine parser generator
@emph{Infrastructure for parser based text analysis in Emacs}
Copyright @copyright{} 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 @value{AUTHOR}
@end ifinfo
@sp 10
@title @value{TITLE}
@author by @value{AUTHOR}
@vskip 0pt plus 1 fill
Copyright @copyright{} 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 @value{AUTHOR}
@vskip 0pt plus 1 fill
@end titlepage
@c MACRO inclusion
@include semanticheader.texi
@c *************************************************************************
@c @ Document
@c *************************************************************************
@node top
@top @value{TITLE}
The @dfn{bovine} parser is the original @semantic{} parser, and is an
implementation of an @acronym{LL} parser. It is good for simple
languages. It has many conveniences making grammar writing easy. The
conveniences make it less powerful than a Bison-like @acronym{LALR}
parser. For more information, @inforef{top, the Wisent Parser Manual,
Bovine @acronym{LL} grammars are stored in files with a @file{.by}
extension. When compiled, the contents is converted into a file of
the form @file{NAME-by.el}. This, in turn is byte compiled.
@inforef{top, Grammar Framework Manual, grammar-fw}.
* Starting Rules:: The starting rules for the grammar.
* Bovine Grammar Rules:: Rules used to parse a language
* Optional Lambda Expression:: Actions to take when a rule is matched
* Bovine Examples:: Simple Samples
* GNU Free Documentation License::
* Index::
@end menu
@node Starting Rules
@chapter Starting Rules
In Bison, one and only one nonterminal is designated as the ``start''
symbol. In @semantic{}, one or more nonterminals can be designated as
the ``start'' symbol. They are declared following the @code{%start}
keyword separated by spaces. @inforef{start Decl, ,grammar-fw}.
If no @code{%start} keyword is used in a grammar, then the very first
is used. Internally the first start nonterminal is targeted by the
reserved symbol @code{bovine-toplevel}, so it can be found by the
parser harness.
To find locally defined variables, the local context handler needs to
parse the body of functional code. The @code{scopestart} declaration
specifies the name of a nonterminal used as the goal to parse a local
context, @inforef{scopestart Decl, ,grammar-fw}. Internally the
scopestart nonterminal is targeted by the reserved symbol
@code{bovine-inner-scope}, so it can be found by the parser harness.
@node Bovine Grammar Rules
@chapter Bovine Grammar Rules
The rules are what allow the compiler to create tags from a language
file. Once the setup is done in the prologue, you can start writing
rules. @inforef{Grammar Rules, ,grammar-fw}.
@var{result} : @var{components1} @var{optional-semantic-action1})
| @var{components2} @var{optional-semantic-action2}
@end example
@var{result} is a nonterminal, that is a symbol synthesized in your grammar.
@var{components} is a list of elements that are to be matched if @var{result}
is to be made. @var{optional-semantic-action} is an optional sequence
of simplified Emacs Lisp expressions for concocting the parse tree.
In bison, each time an element of @var{components} is found, it is
@dfn{shifted} onto the parser stack. (The stack of matched elements.)
When all @var{components}' elements have been matched, it is
@dfn{reduced} to @var{result}. @xref{(bison)Algorithm}.
A particular @var{result} written into your grammar becomes
the parser's goal. It is designated by a @code{%start} statement
(@pxref{Starting Rules}). The value returned by the associated
@var{optional-semantic-action} is the parser's result. It should be
a tree of @semantic{} @dfn{tags}, @inforef{Semantic Tags, ,
@var{components} is made up of symbols. A symbol such as @code{FOO}
means that a syntactic token of class @code{FOO} must be matched.
* How Lexical Tokens Match::
* Grammar-to-Lisp Details::
* Order of components in rules::
@end menu
@node How Lexical Tokens Match
@section How Lexical Tokens Match
A lexical rule must be used to define how to match a lexical token.
For instance:
%keyword FOO "foo"
@end example
Means that @code{FOO} is a reserved language keyword, matched as such
by looking up into a keyword table, @inforef{keyword Decl,
,grammar-fw}. This is because @code{"foo"} will be converted to
@code{FOO} in the lexical analysis stage. Thus the symbol @code{FOO}
won't be available any other way.
If we specify our token in this way:
%token <symbol> FOO "foo"
@end example
then @code{FOO} will match the string @code{"foo"} explicitly, but it
won't do so at the lexical level, allowing use of the text
@code{"foo"} in other forms of regular expressions.
In that case, @code{FOO} is a @code{symbol}-type token. To match, a
@code{symbol} must first be encountered, and then it must
@code{string-match "foo"}.
@table @strong
@item Caution:
Be especially careful to remember that @code{"foo"}, and more
generally the %token's match-value string, is a regular expression!
@end table
Non symbol tokens are also allowed. For example:
%token <punctuation> PERIOD "[.]"
filename : symbol PERIOD symbol
@end example
@code{PERIOD} is a @code{punctuation}-type token that will explicitly
match one period when used in the above rule.
@table @strong
@item Please Note:
@code{symbol}, @code{punctuation}, etc., are predefined lexical token
types, based on the @dfn{syntax class}-character associations
currently in effect.
@end table
@node Grammar-to-Lisp Details
@section Grammar-to-Lisp Details
For the bovinator, lexical token matching patterns are @emph{inlined}.
When the grammar-to-lisp converter encounters a lexical token
declaration of the form:
%token <@var{type}> @var{token-name} @var{match-value}
@end example
It substitutes every occurrences of @var{token-name} in rules, by its
expanded form:
@var{type} @var{match-value}
@end example
For example:
%token <symbol> MOOSE "moose"
find_a_moose: MOOSE
@end example
Will generate this pseudo equivalent-rule:
find_a_moose: symbol "moose" ;; invalid syntax!
@end example
Thus, from the bovinator point of view, the @var{components} part of a
rule is made up of symbols and strings. A string in the mix means
that the previous symbol must have the additional constraint of
exactly matching it, as described in @ref{How Lexical Tokens Match}.
@table @strong
@item Please Note:
For the bovinator, this task was mixed into the language definition to
simplify implementation, though Bison's technique is more efficient.
@end table
@node Order of components in rules
@section Order of components in rules
If a rule has multiple components, order is important, for example
headerfile : symbol PERIOD symbol
| symbol
@end example
would match @samp{foo.h} or the @acronym{C++} header @samp{foo}.
The bovine parser will first attempt to match the long form, and then
the short form. If they were in reverse order, then the long form
would never be tested.
@c @xref{Default syntactic tokens}.
@node Optional Lambda Expression
@chapter Optional Lambda Expressions
The @acronym{OLE} (@dfn{Optional Lambda Expression}) is converted into
a bovine lambda. This lambda has special short-cuts to simplify
reading the semantic action definition. An @acronym{OLE} like this:
( $1 )
@end example
results in a lambda return which consists entirely of the string
or object found by matching the first (zeroth) element of match.
An @acronym{OLE} like this:
( ,(foo $1) )
@end example
executes @code{foo} on the first argument, and then splices its return
into the return list whereas:
( (foo $1) )
@end example
executes @code{foo}, and that is placed in the return list.
Here are other things that can appear inline:
@table @code
@item $1
The first object matched.
@item ,$1
The first object spliced into the list (assuming it is a list from a
@item '$1
The first object matched, placed in a list. i.e. @code{( $1 )}.
@item foo
The symbol @code{foo} (exactly as displayed).
@item (foo)
A function call to foo which is stuck into the return list.
@item ,(foo)
A function call to foo which is spliced into the return list.
@item '(foo)
A function call to foo which is stuck into the return list in a list.
@item (EXPAND @var{$1} @var{nonterminal} @var{depth})
A list starting with @code{EXPAND} performs a recursive parse on the
token passed to it (represented by @samp{$1} above.) The
@dfn{semantic list} is a common token to expand, as there are often
interesting things in the list. The @var{nonterminal} is a symbol in
your table which the bovinator will start with when parsing.
@var{nonterminal}'s definition is the same as any other nonterminal.
@var{depth} should be at least @samp{1} when descending into a
semantic list.
@item (EXPANDFULL @var{$1} @var{nonterminal} @var{depth})
Is like @code{EXPAND}, except that the parser will iterate over
@var{nonterminal} until there are no more matches. (The same way the
parser iterates over the starting rule (@pxref{Starting Rules}). This
lets you have much simpler rules in this specific case, and also lets
you have positional information in the returned tokens, and error
@item (ASSOC @var{symbol1} @var{value1} @var{symbol2} @var{value2} @dots{})
This is used for creating an association list. Each @var{symbol} is
included in the list if the associated @var{value} is non-@code{nil}.
While the items are all listed explicitly, the created structure is an
association list of the form:
((@var{symbol1} . @var{value1}) (@var{symbol2} . @var{value2}) @dots{})
@end example
@item (TAG @var{name} @var{class} [@var{attributes}])
This creates one tag in the current buffer.
@table @var
@item name
Is a string that represents the tag in the language.
@item class
Is the kind of tag being create, such as @code{function}, or
@code{variable}, though any symbol will work.
@item attributes
Is an optional set of labeled values such as @w{@code{:constant-flag t :parent
@end table
@item (TAG-VARIABLE @var{name} @var{type} @var{default-value} [@var{attributes}])
@itemx (TAG-FUNCTION @var{name} @var{type} @var{arg-list} [@var{attributes}])
@itemx (TAG-TYPE @var{name} @var{type} @var{members} @var{parents} [@var{attributes}])
@itemx (TAG-INCLUDE @var{name} @var{system-flag} [@var{attributes}])
@itemx (TAG-PACKAGE @var{name} @var{detail} [@var{attributes}])
@itemx (TAG-CODE @var{name} @var{detail} [@var{attributes}])
Create a tag with @var{name} of respectively the class
@code{variable}, @code{function}, @code{type}, @code{include},
@code{package}, and @code{code}.
See @inforef{Creating Tags, , semantic-appdev} for the lisp
functions these translate into.
@end table
If the symbol @code{%quotemode backquote} is specified, then use
@code{,@@} to splice a list in, and @code{,} to evaluate the expression.
This lets you send @code{$1} as a symbol into a list instead of having
it expanded inline.
@node Bovine Examples
@chapter Examples
The rule:
any-symbol: symbol
@end example
is equivalent to
any-symbol: symbol
( $1 )
@end example
which, if it matched the string @samp{"A"}, would return
( "A" )
@end example
If this rule were used like this:
%token <punctuation> EQUAL "="
assign: any-symbol EQUAL any-symbol
( $1 $3 )
@end example
it would match @samp{"A=B"}, and return
( ("A") ("B") )
@end example
The letters @samp{A} and @samp{B} come back in lists because
@samp{any-symbol} is a nonterminal, not an actual lexical element.
To get a better result with nonterminals, use @asis{,} to splice lists
in like this:
%token <punctuation> EQUAL "="
assign: any-symbol EQUAL any-symbol
( ,$1 ,$3 )
@end example
which would return
( "A" "B" )
@end example
@node GNU Free Documentation License
@appendix GNU Free Documentation License
@include fdl.texi
@node Index
@unnumbered Index
@printindex cp
@end iftex
@c Following comments are for the benefit of ispell.
@c LocalWords: bovinator inlined
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